Report: Colorado grand jury indicted JonBenet Ramsey's parents in 1999
Source: Ramsey family via AP, file
BOULDER, CO (NBC) - A Colorado grand jury voted to indict the parents of slain child
beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey more than 13 years ago, but prosecutors
reportedly refused to go forward on the case, according to the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper.
grand jury voted in 1999 to indict John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of
child abuse resulting in death, three years after their 6-year-old
daughter was bludgeoned and strangled in the basement of her family's
house on Christmas Day.
But former Boulder County District
Attorney Alex Hunter declined to sign the indictment, believing he could
not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, the Daily Camera reported.
"I and my prosecution task force believe we do not have sufficient
evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been
investigated at this time," Hunter told reporters in October 1999.
24: Patsy Ramsey, the mother of murder victim JonBenet Ramsey died of
cancer at 49. NBC's Mark Mullen looks back at Patsy Ramsey's life and
her daughter's unsolved murder.
"Child abuse resulting in death" is a Class II felony punishable by up to 48 years in prison, according to the Daily Camera.
"We didn't know who did what," a juror told the Daily Camera on the condition of anonymity. "[B]ut we feel the adults in the house
may have done something that they certainly could have prevented, or
they could have helped her, and they didn't."
Hunter, who left his
post in 2008 after 28 years as district attorney, declined to discuss
the grand jury's decision, according to the Daily Camera.
But in a 2001 interview with NBC News, Hunter said he had no regrets about his decision not to charge anyone.
have enough people that I respect that have said to me, 'You know, you
made a tough call, you made a call the public didn't like. But you were
true to the law, you were a good prosecutor, and that's plenty for me.'"
Lin Wood, John Ramsey's attorney, backed up Hunter's decision in a statement to NBC News.
DNA tests performed after the time of the Boulder grand jury not only
prove the Ramsey's to be innocent and the grand jury wrong, they also
make D.A. Alex Hunter a hero who wisely avoided the miscarriage of
justice," Wood said.
Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in 2006.
The couple and their older son, Burke Ramsey, were exonerated in the
case in July 2008, even though they were never formally charged in
connection with JonBenet's death.
"To the extent that we may have
contributed in any way to the public perception that you might have been
involved in this crime, I am deeply sorry," former Boulder County
District Attorney Marcy Lacy wrote in a letter to John Ramsey in 2008.
"No innocent person should have to endure such an extensive trial in the
court of public opinion."
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